Debi Dunavant West has a saying she uses quite a lot, "Together We Art Better." She ought to know. She has received numerous awards for teaching including Georgia State Educator of the Year (2009) and National Elementary Art Educator of the Year (2005). There are more. Her students have received numerous awards as well. She is a powerful speaker/motivator. She also writes for several national publications. Debi believes in sharing. I do too.
Early in my art career, I was hesitant to share. Probably insecurity. It followed me early into my art teaching career. Not sure why. I guess I thought that I wanted to be the only person with such a great idea. Which in itself is a bad idea. Then after attending my first NAEA Convention, I realized that I was indeed NOT the only art teacher with good ideas. (Someone else designed cereal boxes? Really?) I was amazed at how freely the presenters shared what worked for them. That inspired me to "grab" what I could from others and give back what had worked for me in the classroom.
Then in 2007, I was recruited by The University of Memphis to teach Art Education. Sharing became a way of life for me. It became the kind of giving with no regrets. My colleague at the university, Dr. Donalyn Heise modeled that kind of giving for me. Knowing that what I had learned, lessons that rocked, methods that motivated could be multiplied into the classrooms of others was exhilarating! When I returned to the classroom, I was then able to use my own advice, tweak some old lessons and create new ones, based on the feeling that what I was doing could be shared later with others I sometimes mentor. That's also where this blog came from as well as my YouTube Channel demos.
Writing has now also become a way of mentoring. I primarily write for SchoolArts Magazine. This has been a wonderful way for me to share and also inspires me to create new lessons, try them out and then write about them. I take lots of high quality images of students working, as well as photos of materials set up and products. When I know that I might write about it, I send out media permissions for parents to sign, so I'll be ready to submit.
If you have a great lesson, that's never been published, I highly recommend that you submit the lesson to a publication like SchoolArts in order to share it. Nancy Walkup is the Editor.
The link for the Writers Guidelines is below:
Here is one of the latest article I had published. It appeared in the March 2018 issue which was distributed at the NAEA 2018 Convention in Seattle. Enjoy and uh...feel free to Share Like An Art Teacher!